By Vickiie Oliphant | 31 August 2016
ALMOST 150,000 migrants have travelled to Italy so far this year – but the country has been told to brace itself for even more arrivals during a “September assault”.
EXPRESS — Italy had initially seen a decrease in arrivals in the first half of this year, with only 107,000 arriving by sea until August 30 compared to 116,000 during the same period last year.
But the slow down looks like it is now over, with 13,000 migrants crossing over in just four days.
And officials at the Interior Ministry say the count is not going to stop.
Italy has been one of the first destinations along migrants typical routes for months, along with receiving hundreds of new arrivals from emergency boat landings.
Today, 145,000 migrants are being hosted in the country – many in temporary structures.
Thousands more are expected to stop in Italy throughout September in unprecedented levels of arrivals.
Now Germany’s Angela Merkel has been forced to admit its mistakes in tackling the continent’s migrant crisis.
She said: “We Germans have ignored the problem for too long. The big September assault has begun.
“Before the arrival of autumn, traffickers take advantage of the last long window of good weather.
“We fear a record peak in landings.”
The Chancellor also admitted Germany failed to help Spain and other countries tackle the problem.
She added: “In 2004 and 2005, there were already many refugee arrivals, but we left it to Spain and others at the external borders to deal with.
“And, yes, we also resisted a proportional distribution of refugees then.
“Germany was very happy that, after the many refugees we had taken in during the wars in Yugoslavia, others mostly now had to deal with the issue.”